Greetings Creator Family, from First Landing State Park,
It is now early morning, and I am sitting at our campsite anticipating our trek to the beach this morning and some time by the water. It occurs to me that when we go on vacation what we are really looking for is to be away from everything and everyone and have a change of pace in which we find release from the cares of the day. Sitting here now, I realize a pull in a different direction.
Over the last day, we have ridden our bikes to the beach and spent time in canoes looking for dolphins. Over the last day, I have thanked God and thought of God many times during the day. Who doesn’t, when confronted with the beautiful expanse of sea and sky? And I realize that what I really want is not to be away from all the problems of the day but be closer to the problem solver.
Is it not true that what we want is the overpowering presence of God to be truly overpowering? That we want God to be with us in the mundane and necessary processes of life as powerfully and vibrantly as we want God present with us in the sublime and focused parts of life?
It seems that a vacation, understood in a Christian context, is a time when we seek after God all the more in a focused manner so that we can experience God all the more when our lives become diffused. Is it not that we want God to haunt us in our every waking moment? In fact, does God not already do that? What I mean is, as we live our daily lives, we are pursued by what we normally refer to as our conscience. Our conscience tells us when we are acting in charity or in haste, out of pride or in great humility. Our conscience corrects us in our thinking, or not; our conscience alerts us in our actions.
We credit our conscience as the process of our mind focusing on and reacting to the lessons of our life. We think of it as our unconscious mind reacting and critiquing the thoughts and actions of our daily life. Indeed, the conscience is a real thing, but it is far from the true guide of our life.
God haunts our thoughts and memories not as an uninvited intrusion into our lives, pulling on the threads of the damaged cloth, but rather as the invited savior, caressing and repairing the tapestry of our life.
Vacation, as our daily life amidst the hubbub of our experiences, is a time for us to seek after and embrace the presence of God in our minds and hearts. It is a time to invite the critique and more than that, embrace the instruction and the correction. If we are able to do this, we will move from a student rebelling against the instructor to a son or daughter embracing and thankfully grasping for the loving companionship of our Father.
We are heading for the beach now. I can't wait to hear what comes next.
Faithfully in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†